Keeping the furniture clean
Whether it's the kitchen table that serves as a family hub for eating or doing homework, or a special chair that's reserved for company, keeping furniture clean can be a challenge.
One of the big things to consider is what the piece of furniture you hope to spruce up is made from: cloth, leather, wood or wicker are just some of the options and they all need some special techniques.
If the material permits, vacuuming regularly is one of the easiest ways to keep the furniture looking like new. Make sure not to forget those hard to reach places between the cushions.
Check the tag to see whether the furniture can be cleaned with soap and water or requires a stronger product like a dry cleaning solvent. If the former is the ticket, think about adding a few drops of vinegar and baking soda to cut down the odor. Don't forget to test the mixture in an inconspicuous spot to make sure it works first. If the fabric appears discoloured, stop immediately and consult a professional.
In between more rigourous cleanings, a simply spray to trap and remove odours helps keep cushions and other fabric-covered furniture smelling fresh.
Most leather furniture can be vacuumed and cleaned with dish soap and water. If that doesn't work, try some vinegar.
When it comes to wood furniture, make sure you know the finish used. Be careful not to use too much water as that can cause the material to warp and crack. If you aren't sure of the finish, experiment a little in an unexposed area, starting with a mild cleaner.
Wicker furniture is becoming increasingly popular as it can be used both inside and out and is relatively easy to maintain. The first step should be to remove the cushions as they must be cleaned separately. That will also allow you to reach every nook and cranny.
Wicker can be vacuumed but requires a gently touch and using the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner is recommended. For dust and dirt that's persistently hanging on, a soft paintbrush usually does the trick.
If wicker furniture is cleaned with water (or an ammonia-water mix if it's built from bamboo) it should be placed outside if possible to ensure it dries thoroughly.
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